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SWOT Analysis for Personal Improvement

The SWOT analysis is a structured planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective and identify the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective. Here we will it SWOT analysis for personal improvement.

What does SWOT Analysis do

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Performing a SWOT Analysis is helpful to use in your career planning for answering the following two questions:

  1. What are your Strengths and Weaknesses (in your internal environment)?
  2. What are Opportunities and Threats in your career field (external environment)?

Key points of each aspect of SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Internal, positive aspects which you can capitalize upon, such as:

  1. Work experience
  2. Education
  3. Technical skills and knowledge (e.g., computer skills)
  4. Personal characteristics (e.g., superior work ethic)
  5. Strong network of contacts
  6. Involvement with professional associations and organizations
  7. Enjoying what you do

Weaknesses

Internal, negative aspects that you plan on improving, such as:

  1. Lack of work experience
  2. Inconsistent major with the job you are looking for
  3. Lack of specific job knowledge
  4. Weak technical knowledge
  5. Weak skills (leadership, interpersonal, communication, teamwork)
  6. Weak job-hunting skills
  7. Negative personal characteristics (e.g., no motivation, indecisiveness, shyness)
  8. Weaknesses identified in past performance appraisals

Opportunities

External, positive conditions out of your control, but you plan to leverage or add value:

  1. Field trends that create more jobs (e.g., globalization, technology)
  2. Field needs your set of skills
  3. Opportunities for advancement in your field
  4. Location
  5. Strong network

Threats

External, negative conditions out of your control, but you may be able to overcome:

  1. Field trends that diminish jobs (e.g., downsizing, obsolescence)
  2. Companies are not hiring people with your major/degree
  3. Competition from college graduates with your same degree
  4. Competitors with superior skills, experience or knowledge
  5. Competitors who attended better schools
  6. Limited advancement in your field (too competitive)
  7. Limited professional development in your field
  8. Find hiring/employment trends in your field.

After completing SWOT analysis, it's better to re-plan your personal improvement strategy according to your result. Also, use your SWOT results to develop the career goals and action plan with proper deadlines.